Fair's agricultural roots strong as ever as IPE opens for 119th year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fair's agricultural roots strong as ever as IPE opens for 119th year

The Interior Provincial Exhibition is underway in Armstrong. The 119th annual fair in Armstrong stays true to its agricultural roots.
August 29, 2018 - 3:00 PM

ARMSTRONG - It's one of the oldest in B.C. and the biggest in Western Canada, the Interior Provincial Exhibition is back for its 119th year promising fairgoers a fun-filled slice of agricultural life.

The five-day IPE opened today, Aug. 29, and runs daily until Sept. 2 attracting tens of thousands of visitors.

IPE executive director Terry Hannah describes the fair as "five days of non-stop fun" adding "you name it, we've got it."

With everything from heavy horse pull competitions and miniature barrel racing, to fairground rides and cotton candy, the Armstrong Fair offers something for everyone.

Hannah has been involved with the fair since she was 10 years old and many decades later says she thinks the event has remained so popular because it has maintained its rural roots.

"We tried very hard to not lose that essence of bring your homemade pie and try to win the blue ribbon," she says. "Yes, we've had to adapt and change... with all of the new things that are out there, but we really do try to remember that our roots are very much agriculture."

The IPE features 19 different exhibitions, showcasing everything from cattle and sheep to sewing and vegetables.

"Any animal you can think of, we probably have it in the barn," Hannah says.

New for this year is a high wire trapeze act from Montreal that has trained with Circus Soleil, and the Altervision 3D kids tent, which has to be seen to be understood.

The nightly rodeo will feature an eight-year-old riding Roman-style — where the rider stands with one foot on each horse — along with bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. Musical entertainment comes from Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks tribute acts as well as the Almost Abba cover band.

With something for everyone, Hannah says the fair's down to earth nature and unpretentious atmosphere are some of the reasons people come back year after year.

"This is something where you can just go and get a corn on the cob and if the butter runs down on your chin nobody cares," she says, adding "it's part and parcel of it."

The Interior Provincial Exhibition takes place in Armstrong and runs from Wednesday, Aug. 29 to Sunday, Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information go to the IPE website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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